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indeed, desired, but declined to go, and she was not in the 1863 room into which he desired to break. There certainly, therefore, would have been justification for removing him by force from the house, but the question is, whether there was a justification for giving him into custody? If you find that he was not only in the house against the will of the landlady making a disturbance, but that he had assaulted her and went up stairs against her will, and was on the landing against her will and the will of the defendant, and close to the defendant's rooms making a disturbance and trying to force his way in (a) and intending to strike Boucicault when he should get at him; then the plea is substantially proved, and you are bound to find it so and return a verdict for the defendant, otherwise the plaintiff is entitled to a verdict.

The jury found that the plaintiff was unlawfully in the house but had committed no assault.

Verdict for the plaintiff, 251. (6).

liberty for an indefinite time, using And a habeas corpus is refused

no hardship or unnecessary re- against the wife to force her return,

straiut Id. In re Price, 2 F. & F. 263.

Semble, such restraint would (a) Vide ante, p. 610.

amount to imprisonment, and be (6) The Lord Chief Justice at

illegal, and this Court would afford once stayed the execution, and

redress, unless the wife make an Karslake moved as against evi-.

undue use of her liberty, by going dence, but took nothing, except a

into lewd company, or squandering rule to reduce the damages, her husband's estate, lb.

Court of Queen's Bench, Guildhall, coram Cockbwm, C.J.

MORRISON v. BELCHER. Jljibel. The action was by the proprietor and editor of ZadhieVs Almanack, against Admiral Belcher, for an alleged libel on the plaintiff contained in a letter to the Daily Telegraph of the 1st of February last. On the 31st of January there appeared in that paper an article calling attention to the "predictions" in that publication, especially with reference to the lamented death of the late illustrious Prince Consort, and asking, "Who is Zadkiel?" The defendant then wrote to the editor a letter, which appeared next day, and was the libel in question. It ran thus :—


Sittings after
Trinity Term.

"Sir,—In your impression ofthis day you ask,' Who is this Zadkiel?' and 'Are there no means of ferreting him out and handing him up to Bow-street under the statute as a rogue and vagabond V I will aid you on the scent

Iii an action

for n libel in a

newspaper, imputing to the

plaintiff the

proprietor and

editor of Zad

kieV s Almanack,

that not only

was he connected with

that foolish


but that he

"gulled" the

public by

means of a

magic ball of

crystal, by

which he pretended to tell

what was going

on in the other

world, and that Dy first informing you he stands as a lieutenant on the Navy List, seni

for those pro- or'ly ""** > next>tnat ne nas h*3 admirers about Greenwich Hospital, who fancy him a prophet A 1; and that his mischievous propensities are not solely involved in that foolish publication, Zadkiel's Almanack. More; I think he gave his name not long since as president of some peculiar society connected with astrology (R. I. Morrison). A friend reminds me that ' the author of Zadkiel is the celebrated crystal globe seer, who gulled many of our nobility about the year 1852.' Making use of a boy under fourteen, or a girl under twelve, he pretended, by their looking into the crystal globe, to hold converse with the spirits of the Apostles—even our Saviour, with all the angels of light as well as darkness, and to tell what was going on in any part of the world. Drawings were made of the objects seen in these visions. One noble lady gave one of these boys 5/.

unle8she writes '° S've ner intelligence respecting her boy, who was in the Mediterranean.

unreasonably, That boy ' peached '—let the cat out of the bag (a). Of course the information was false. He took money, if he be really the same, for

(a) That is, for these, or some of together, probably it meant that he them: for such acts; that is, for such acts as described; that is, acts of pretence, and " gulling," and imposture. But taking the whole

fane acts, and made a good thing of it: pleas, not guilty, and a justification that the libels were true in substance and fact. Held, 1. That within the scope of fair discussion a public writer is not liable

took money for the fraudulent use
of the crystal ball, and gulled the
public thereby.

and malici-
ously. 2. That
this immunity
does not extend
beyond the dis-
cussion of the
writings on

public or undoubted acts of the plaintiff, and does not extend to the gratuitous assertion of matters of fact for which there is no foundation. 3. That the privilege had extended to a denunciation of the Almanack and the use of the ball as an imposture, but that if the libel meant that the plaintiff had made money by a conscious and fraudulent imposture by use of the magic ball, that was beyond the right of fair discussion and required a justification. 4. That the justification required proof that the plaintiff took money for the use of die crystal ball, and used it knowing that it was an imposture.

these profane acts, and made a good thing of it. If it was deemed 1863.

sufficiently important there can be no doubt that he could be satisfactorily V^v^/

ferreted out. As to his position as a naval officer, excepting in the Morrison

Coast-Guard, be has not served afloat since 1815. Belcher


There was another subsequent letter, in which there was a second count. It was, obviously, in answer to some inquiry from the editor:—

"(Private and Confidential.) "Sir,—I am unwilling to have my name mixed up with one of this stamp, but I bad reason to be much disgusted with this personage at the period to which I allude. The boy's mother confessed to me the trick he

bad played.

"Yours, &c,

"E. Belcher." "Union Club, January 31,1802."

The defendant pleaded not guilty, and also that the alleged libels were true in substance and fact (a).

Shee, Serjt., J. O. Griffits and E. Besley, for the plaintiff.

Ballantine, Serjt., and Field, for the defendant.

Shee, Serjt., in opening the case for the plaintiff, laid stress chiefly on the imputation as to the use of the magic ball of crystal, which he contended amounted to an imputation of conscious and corrupt imposture. This, he said, he should disprove in point of fact, that is, the conscious imposture, and he insisted that it would not be enough that the jury should be satisfied it was a delusion; alluded to Aubrey's Miscellanies, 1784, page 217, where mention was made of a "consecrated beryl," a kind of crystal, which he said he saw. The learned serjeant also alluded to a work of a Dr. Gregory, who stated that in these crystal balls persons saw scenes which were distant, and persons who were absent. The learned serjeant said that the substance of his client's complaint was that he was called in

(«) The effect of this plea would given to the libel, as to which, vide of course depend upon the sense supra.


1863. effect an "impostor," and charged with wilful imposture, and he hoped the jury would not be withdrawn from the real

Morrison ■ .

question to the question whether the beryl was a delusion.

The handwriting being admitted,

The plaintiff was called and explained how he came to get hold of this magic ball, which, he said, he had merely exhibited privately and gratuitously and never for money, nor had he, he said, in any way made money by it. He however admitted that there was in this Almanack for 1862, a notice of the "Magic Crystal:"

"For some years I have omitted to introduce this interesting subject to the notice of my readers. This has not been from intentional neglect, but in consequence of my not being able to procure able and intelligent seers to inspect the crystal. The visions seen by young children have been often highly interesting and very instructive, yet they have not in general been of a nature to offer to my numerous readers. But recently I have been so fortunate as to obtain four excellent adult seers; three of them are ladies and one a gentleman. Two of them are artists, and so I have been able to possess sketches of some of the very interesting visions granted at our request. But I may say that two seers have been favoured with several splendid scriptural scenes, among which have been vision! of many of the most interesting miracles. There has been seen, for example, the miracle of the 'five loaves and two small fishes,' and the feeding of the multitude thereby; also ' the walking on the water,' and < the breaking of the bread at the Last Supper,' with many other scriptural events. . . . For many years have seers of all ages' and condition! given me reason to believe that the visions given in the crystal emanate from spirits of a high and holy class." . . .

And he admitted that he thought this notice might possibly promote the sale of the almanack.

Ballantine, Serjt., asked that the article in the Daily Telegraph should be put in, but

S/iee, Serjt., declined to put it in, and

Cockburn, C. J., held that the defendant had no right to have it put in by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff went on to say he had heard that Lady Blessington had a curious crystal ball with wonderful properties, and he bought it in 1849 of a dealer in curiosities in Brompton. He then stated that, having set it before his 1863. son, he said he saw Arctic scenery and the incidents of Sir J. Franklin's expedition, as to which he wrote an account for the Athenceum, which appeared. A young man also looked into the ball, and said he saw various things (which he described) in it. For himself, the plaintiff said, he never saw anything in it, nor professed to have seen it. But in consequence of what had been announced various persons of distinction had desired to see it. He had never taken any money for exhibiting the ball, nor had said he had ever seen anything in it; nor had he ever suggested to the boy or the young man to say so. Nor was it true, to his knowledge, that 5/. had been given to the boy to say he saw anything in the ball. He never heard it before the libel, nor did he believe it to be true. He did not always go with the ball himself when he lent it, but generally did so; and it was open to inspection. Persons had looked at it, and saw something remarkable. He said he had met the defendant at an evening party, when the ball was exhibited, and when he certainly saw nothing to excite disgust, nor did he at the time intimate that he had done so.


Ballantine, Serjt., elicited from the plaintiff a confession that he had so lately as last year answered the questions of persons as to their " nativities," and received money from the wealthy. He also elicited that he advertised in the Almanack that advice would be given to those who were uneasy in their minds, and that the " aspects of the stars" would be taught at 11. a head.

The evidence of the plaintiff's son (taken in America) was then read, the effect of it being that he had really seen the things he said he saw.

Various persons of rank, who happened in private society to have seen or heard of this " crystal ball," were called to show that it had been shown to them freely and without money payment; and

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